Archives For Honduras

Top Posts of 2010

Erik Cooper —  December 27, 2010 — 1 Comment

According to Google, these were my most read posts of 2010 (and seriously, who argues with Google and lives?). Since this is the week of top 10’s and best of’s, I thought I’d join the end of year festivities. Hope you enjoy a little stroll down BeyondTheRisk memory lane.

10.  Memorabilia: What Do You Hold Onto?

Our lives are full of memorabilia. Some trigger beautiful memories.  Some conjure up nightmares. [Read more]

9. Should Churches Ever Go Out of Business?

A question I still question if I should have even asked. [Read more]

8.  Should the Church Really Be Promoting Social Justice?

Glenn Beck made some strong statements against churches who talk about social justice. I tried to engage the conversation [Read More]

7.  Saying Goodbye

After 32 years, my parents finally moved from my childhood home. These were my nostalgic thoughts as we closed those doors for one last time. [Read More]

6.  The Problem with the Church

With all the condescending finger pointing and pithy diagnosis, I thought it was time to talk about the real problem with the church. [Read More]

5.  You Can Keep Your Hymnal

How often am I guilty of trying to relive the past? What are the “hymnals” in your life? [Read More]

4.  Embracing Biblical Values and Completely Missing the Point

Is it possible to love Jesus without truly following Him?  [Read More]

3.  Goodbye Maddie

Directly or indirectly, relationships will hurt you (confession: cried again re-reading this one). [Read More]

2.  I Hate When People Tell Me About Their Missions Trips

A trip to Honduras once again messed with our normal. What you hear from these two guys sums it up perfectly. [Read More]

1.  Fifteen Years Ago

My wife and I crossed a major milestone this year. This is my tribute to her (to us). [Read More]

Fifteen to Finish

Erik Cooper —  December 20, 2010 — Leave a comment

In light of all the stellar economic indicators and the financial pressures of Christmas, I know many of you have bags full of extra money laying around you’re just dying to get rid of, right? (Bags of small, unmarked bills with warrants attached to them don’t count).

In all seriousness, this video highlights a project we’ve adopted in a little slum off the coast of La Ceiba, Honduras.  A place that has become very special to us at City Community Church.

If you’re looking to do year end charitable giving, this would be a worthwhile investment.  This project is making a tangible difference in the lives of some amazing kids. Kids who wouldn’t have much hope without you and our partners at Mission of Mercy.

Thanks to a generous $10,000 donation, we only need $15K more to complete the final phase of this center (that also acts as a local church for the community).  If you’d like to help, you can click here to donate online, or make your checks payable to City Community Church (133 W. Market St. #102, Indianapolis 46204).

Just make sure to include “Fifteen to Finish” in the memo line for both online and physical contributions. All donations are tax deductible and can be claimed on your 2010 taxes if postmarked by December 31.

Give a gift of hope this Christmas, and then write it off on your taxes!  “It’s the gift that keeps on giving Clark…”

Praying for Doctors

Erik Cooper —  August 4, 2010 — 8 Comments

Her name is Jasmine and she lives in a Honduran slum.  We met her on our first CityCom overseas adventure this past June.  She captured all of us (especially Mike).

Perhaps unexpectedly.

Not accidentally.

Jasmine is developmentally challenged. She can’t walk or speak.  And to complicate matters, her parents are mute (they can hear but not talk).  Getting an accurate understanding of her challenges was difficult, to say the least.

Through scribbled shards of paper and animated charade-like gesturing, Jasmine’s family was desperately asking for help.  And our compassionate American-Christian spirit immediately kicked into action.

We had translators on the phone with doctors.  Businessmen brainstorming potential funding for therapy.  Logistical minds coordinating transportation.

It was beautiful in so many ways.

And terribly sad in another.

The conviction of the Holy Spirit flattened me in the comfort of our hotel room later that night.  In all our rightly-motivated desire to live out compassion for this beautiful little girl, I failed.

Miserably.

As a leader, I never stopped the flurry of godly activity to do the most important thing.

Pray that God would heal her.

I was raised pentecostal (I know, there’s a support group for that).  And even though I think our particular church was pretty well balanced, I still grew up around a lot of “hyper-charismatics” (if I grew up around you don’t worry, I’m definitely referring to those other people).  People who wielded the Holy Spirit as a manipulation tool or to empower their own insecurity (hey, we keep it real here).  I mean really, how do you ever present a counterpoint to someone who starts every sentence with “God told me?

Over the years, I began to subconsciously distance myself from this unhealthy expression. And somewhere in the mix I also seemed to lose my belief in the mysterious, supernatural, and biblical way God longs to interact with our lives.

I stopped praying for healing and started praying for doctors.

I overcorrected.

Which actually made me incorrect.

I’m glad our team mobilized in a tangible expression of love for this precious little girl. It was the right thing to do.  I believe God works through medicine, and I know He equips us with the ingenuity and creativity to respond to practical needs.  That is His Spirit at work.

But I also believe in the miraculous.  And sometimes we simply reason Him out of the equation.

I want faith that embraces mystery.  That risks the unknown.  That expects God to intervene.

Do I have that kind of faith? Or will my faith only ever be big enough to pray for doctors?

I hate when people tell me about their missions trips. Like I’m supposed to share their passion. Feel what they felt. Really. Come on.

So I’m not going to tell you anymore (at least for now). I’m going to let a couple of other guys do it.

This is raw video footage from our team’s download session early this morning. One of our guys, Andy Wiseman, wrote a song from the overflow of his experiences in Honduras this week. This is just the last chorus. Oh, by the way, Andy is almost completely deaf. Yeah.

And then our resident Puerto Rican, Mike Perez, slayed us all with another of his spoken word pieces you have to hear (I have his permission). So not right Mike!

You want to listen.

YouTube Preview Image

Heading for the airport at 4am, and taking more home with us then we ever could have brought.

Adios Honduras. Hasta el proximo vez. Te quieres.

Today was our last at the projects. We packed up the tents, the crafts, the dulce (candy) for the last time on this Honduran adventure.

The kids cried.

We cried.

Time to head home.  But the damage has already been done. None who have walked these streets, sat in these homes, interacted with this beautiful people, will ever be able to scrape the images and encounters from our minds.  Nor do we want to.  But will this week really change us?

I guess that remains to be seen.

Love can’t be an event. Not something we block out for a week on our busy calendars.  Not something that stays here in Honduras as we head back to our real lives in the United States.

But that will be the temptation.  The direction the current will naturally try to take us as the intensity and focus of this controlled, planned experience abruptly morphs back into the comfort and familiarity of home.

That’s why trips like this can’t simply be something we do. Time moves on.  The trip comes and goes.

These experiences have to be about what we become.

Tomorrow we have a day to relax and process together before heading for home.  A day to drive these encounters into our DNA.  To make sure this act of worship called Honduras 2010 wasn’t just a self-righteous photo-op.


As we loaded the bus this evening, almost too surreal to believe, a rainbow appeared in the rain clouds engulfing the mountains that look down on Las Delicious.  Coincidence? Maybe.  Cliché?  Could be.

Or was God actually trying to remind us that there is hope?

Hope for all of us.